In spite of many economic uncertainties, the nonprofit sector continues to be a growing industry. In America alone, nonprofits contributed goods and services equal to $779 billion in business (accounting for 5.4 percent of the GDP). They also accounted for 10 percent of the jobs in American in 2009.
In spite of all that, however, nonprofits are always working close to the margins and need to be able to work smart in order to be able to meet the volume of services that continue to be demanded of them. For that reason, crowdsourcing seems like a tool uniquely suited to the nonprofit sector. And here are four reasons why.
Giving continues to maintain a relatively steady pace, but according to Blue Haven Capital the volume of donors is down and the margins are always slim in the nonprofit world. The cost of co-creating, researching, innovating is drastically reduced in a forum that is open to a broad audience or to a specialized audience of those on the front lines (like employees).
According to a recent study completed by CompassPoint in 2012, many of the key challenges facing nonprofits is their access to a good pool of consistent talent. One of the ways to combat this lack, is to make innovation and creation the responsibility of everyone. The dedicated role becomes someone who engages, curates and encourages a community, not multiple roles and divided responsibilities.
Transparency (for reasons as clear-cut as grant reporting or as malleable as mission values) has long been a tenet of most functioning nonprofits. With crowdsourcing, the record is always clear and available for reference, because the open-ness of the forum that ideas are being collected in.
Buzz and Research – All In One
When World Cerebral Palsy Day honored their annual awareness day with an idea generation campaign using the IdeaScale solution, they not only created an ingenuous repository of ideas for those who wanted to serve this often-times marginalized community that could be referenced by anyone who wanted to know what is most important to that community of stakeholders, they also began a conversation that people were eager to join. In this way, communities (both public and private), become both a source of information, but also a touchpoint for conversation. Shortlisted ideas from the World Cerebral Palsy Day campaign included a documentary about the realities of Cerebral Palsy in the 21st century and a solar-powered wheelchair.
You can learn more about crowdsourcing and the opportunities that it presents to nonrprofits in this complimentary webinar set to take place on March 20th at 1:30 p.m. PST. Register here.